ATTLEBORO (CBS) – Imagine you or someone you love has cancer. Now imagine that person has cancer, twice.
That’s what a young girl from Attleboro faces. But it’s how the 13-year-old is dealing with it that’s inspiring, and she’s doing that with the help of friends and strangers.
“You just have to roll with the punches,” said Lilly Toxavidis, and she’s the champ. A year-and-a-half ago she received her first diagnosis.
“It was for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma,” she said.
She’s been enduring chemotherapy ever since, and just as she was almost finished, bad news a second time.
“Acute myeloid leukemia,” she said.
That’s right, two separate cancers.
“When they told us about it and the treatment I was like, ‘OK, I’ll just go through that again,'” she said matter of factly.
Now the 13-year-old is at Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Providence preparing for a bone marrow transplant.
“When I heard it, I just … Why? How? How come this can happen?” said Lilly’s mother Lyndi Baker.
Baker was shocked by the second diagnosis, but Lilly took it in stride.
“She’s never, ever once questioned ‘Why me?'” Baker said.
“When I was first diagnosed, I remember everyone would say, ‘Oh, I’m so sorry for you.’ But it’s not their fault,” Lilly explained.
“I see her a lot making sure we’re OK. She just kept saying, ‘Mom are you OK? Are you OK? You look tired, is there anything I can do?'” Baker recalled.
Lilly needs a bone marrow donor. Her father is a partial match, but doctors are hoping for a perfect match. So this week, friends, family and even strangers lined up to get on the Be The Match donor registry.
“It’s really cool to see everyone,” Lilly said. Now. Lilly and her family hope the next treatment is the last, and that the future doesn’t involve doctors and hospitals.
“She has a huge heart and I know one day she will go on to be something bigger and better,” said her mother.
Lilly dyed her hair purple last night. When we asked her why she did that, she said she’ll probably lose her hair again, so why not do something a little crazy?